“I enjoy imagining mythological characters in a contemporary situation and draw accordingly. So while watching people on cell phones, I wondered how our characters from the epics and mythology would have reacted today. Whether it be a lovelorn Shakuntala or a Sita pining away for Rama in Lanka, all of them would have probably used the mobile to express their feelings,” says Rohit, talking on telephone from Bengaluru, the place he works as a designer in a main MNC main.
He factors out that in the well-known story of Nala and Damayanthi from the Mahabharatha, the swan acts as the go-between in their romance. But in a modern-day setting, the swan has been changed by the telephone.
Another drawing of his exhibits the legendary King Mahabali on his annual go to to Kerala. Unlike the portly Mahabali one is used to seeing, his model is a slim and regal man with a hornbill (the State chicken of Kerala) perched on his shoulder with a not-too-pleased look on his face. “So right here now we have a very trendy, new-age model of the king. He has come right down to the State and is having fun with his pazham pori. All of nature and his animal buddies are joyful to have him again (hornbill, being the State chicken, has a ethical obligation to be with him). However, Mahabali appears a bit sceptical at what he’s seeing round him. Environmental points and all that urbanisation don’t appear to enchantment to him in any respect, therefore that expression,” explains Rohit.
The artist makes it clear that his illustrations and designs are his inventive interpretation of mythology, tradition and individuals. He states: “The attempt is to celebrate stories and characters from across the ages and their relationships with the world around them. The colours and textures that I use, and the faces that populate my canvases are an organic extension of me and my sensibilities…”.
For occasion, his portray of Ravana and Sita is his adaptation of the model of the Ramayana in which Sita is talked about as Ravana’s long-lost daughter. “I wondered what would have happened if she had gone to Lanka as the king’s daughter. And what if Ravan appoints her as the royal princess! My work shows a homecoming scene. I wonder how that would have changed things in the epic,” he muses.
The author in him adorns a few of his works with brief descriptions that mix fashionable tales with his personal flights of creativeness and these end result in beautiful tales from a land of enchantment.
Talking about a pretty work that exhibits a sensuous girl in a pensive temper alongside a quizzical flamingo in a pool surrounded by lotuses, Rohit says that the girl might be Sita, Shakuntala, Damayanti or Matsyagandha. “In lots of our epics and its sub-stories, the heroine is relegated to ready and pining for her lover or accomplice whereas ready for one thing momentous to occur, which, ultimately, turns into the turning level of the story. And it’s a frequent theme throughout many such heroines — who all wait for his or her hero in shining glory to come back and rescue them. Perhaps, the flamingo represents considered one of the jungle creatures which might be fairly used to being with people amongst them or is he a rakshasa or a yaksha in disguise?”
The media he chooses to doodle, draw and paint preserve altering from paper and canvas to leaves, partitions and doorways. The enchantment continues.
Rohit’s interpretative drawings and work in pen and ink, watercolours and acrylics on canvas are posted on his Instagram deal with and Facebook beneath the identify indigoranges. Explaining the motive for selecting to publish beneath ‘indigoranges’, Rohit says: “In 2008-2009, I was in a dilemma and to clear my mind I went on a trek. On my way back, I saw sunset paint the surrounding hills in all myriad shades of ochre, red, indigo, purple …It helped me make a decision and I returned and began a blog called indigoranges. Then came the Facebook page and Insta handle,” says Rohit.
Though lots of his works are snapped up by followers of his and merchandise like mugs, T shirts and many others have many takers, he nonetheless holds his job at the MNC for monetary stability.
An energetic participant of Bengaluru-based Still Space Theatre, Rohit says it was there that he got here throughout totally different folks arts of India and that affect is obvious in his drawings.
However, Rohit doesn’t cease at neo takes on epic characters. Literature, folks tales and present occasions discover a place in his prolific oeuvre. The drawings and work might be subversive, meditative, philosophical, insightful, political and sharp whereas his observations that accompany the work open new home windows to age-old notions and traditions.
His observations on contemporary society aren’t any totally different. Rohit’s lockdown illustrations are pleasant and assorted takes on life that depict scenes of households spending time collectively, of con males making an attempt to make a quick buck with sob tales and many others. One strip of eight illustrations is titled ‘The Indiranagar morning (lockdown edition).’ He additionally expresses his opinion on present occasions and areas in his illustrations. ‘Loudshekharans’, his newest one on Bengaluru, is one such work, the place he captures senior residents gossiping, discussing, debating and boasting close to Darshinis (a form of breakfast joints) in the metropolis.
Although Rohit’s roots are in Kottayam in Kerala, he has studied and lived in a number of Indian cities as his father was in the Indian Air Force. For the final 15 years or so, Bengaluru has been his residence.
Since the pandemic-created lockdown started, he has been busy with different members of Still Space Theatre to offer assist and succour to theatre artistes who’ve been out of labor for greater than three months now.